time and leisure concept

Making Time for Leisure Activities in an Individualist Culture

Today’s busy style of living makes engaging in recreational activities impossible to even think of. Contrary to what British economist John Maynard Keynes stated in the year 1930. In his essay, “Economic Possibilities For Our Grandchildren,” the Keynesian economics founding father predicted that his descendants—specifically his grandchildren—will be working just fifteen (15) hours a week in the future, with the probability of doing so in their own volition.

Keynes could not be more wrong. Today’s time poverty problem only grows severe as time passes, and people are getting busier. In the corporate world, people are not very welcoming to time-saving innovations such as operating robotic systems and writing e-mails. Formal national time-use surveys found that men, on average, work for pay nearly twelve (12) hours per week. The number includes the time-consuming commute and break times.

Women, on the other hand, received an increase in the hours they work while getting paid. However, their time doing unpaid work at home, such as cooking and cleaning, have decreased significantly due to the invention of dishwashers and other appliances that made attending to household chores less time-consuming.

Why are we so occupied?

According to a previously cited article published by The Economist, we have more time than what we see. The birth of clocks and them being synchronized with labor gave value to our time. Realizing our time is has financial implications, we worry about wasting, saving, and using it with making money out of it in mind. The more value we give to our time, the more limited it seems.

Our outlook on time is also based on an individualistic culture that puts achievement over affiliation. This said culture is a product of the existing views on time being monetized. The individualistic culture ingrained in us pressures us into making every moment count, according to Harry Triandis, a social psychologist at the University of Illinois.

Looking at New Yorkers and their thriftiness with time is an application of the achievement over relationships culture. These people are said to be stingy with how they manage their time. Large and wealthy cities exhibit an individualistic culture as a coping mechanism to high wage rates and living costs that skyrocket annually.

In slow-paced, low-income cities compared to New York, this culture exists without the noticeable stinginess within its population when it comes to spending time.

Is it still possible to be available for ourselves and others?

A different perception of the value of time can provide adequate space for leisure activities. Simply put, if we start valuing our affiliations with our own hobbies, people, and other matters outside of work, taking part in activities that benefit our well-being is still possible.

A source indicates that engaging in activities outside of our professional lives improves our mental and physical wellness. Yet engaging in leisure activities should also be picked wisely to yield expected results. Some benefits of making recreational activities a part of our lives include:

  • Lowered stress levels
  • Improved quality of life
  • Health and physical benefits
  • Better familial ties
  • Increased positivity

Activities we can engage in does not have to be extreme. In learning to be available for activities not directly aimed at achievements, it is best to take things slowly.

What can leisure activities do for you?


It is a given that doing something you like is always the best way to go. But if you are out of ideas, outdoor activities such as fishing, golfing, trail running, camping, biking, etc. These outdoor activities can be therapeutic because you will have a reason to be around nature, which is also beneficial.

They are also good physical activities because, for one, fishing will require the right fishing gear set up, golfing may involve a lot of walking—if you prefer it—and golf clubs are not made of light materials. This will put the right strain on your body while also reducing your stress levels.

Recreational activities are also good for people with mental illnesses and people recovering from undesirable experiences. Therapeutic recreation works through tailoring activities to fit an individual based on professional assessment. This form of therapy also gives professional observers an understanding of an individual’s goals, stressors, and current status.

Where should you begin?

If leisure activities feel strange to you because you have not done it in a long time, start small. There is no required time to be spent on activities to yield great results. It is also good to take things lightly—to avoid stressing yourself. The point of these activities is to lessen things that weigh your well-being down.

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